Privacy groups want online medical marketing regulated

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A coalition of privacy advocate groups are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to examine and regulate online advertising of medical goods and treatments.

The Center for Digital Democracy, US PIRG, Consumer Watchdog and the World Privacy Forum said the FTC should look into marketing and advertising practices that target consumers who are searching for medical information online. In particular, the groups want the FTC to examine social media monitoring, data collection, viral and word-of-mouth marketing and “disease condition targeting” of consumers visiting medical websites.

The organizations also want the FTC to require marketers to disclose what types of digital marketing they use and to work with the Food and Drug Administration to develop a set of policies to regulate behavioral targeting and data collection.

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